Saturday 12 May 2012

Growth, Meaning and Lassitude

I feel a certain lassitude towards aspects of work at the moment. I have phases like this. Ironically, they're often times when I get important things done. But it's a struggle.

I also have the feeling of growth at the moment. I don't know if it's connected, but what I'm reading currently (Hayek, Krippendorff, Lawson, Peakcocke, etc) is challenging me, changing me and exhausting me. The old certainties, the inevitable 'smugness' (of 'smugernetics'?!) is no longer tolerable. I no longer know what I think. I must now work harder to refind what I think. But I will be better for it (until it happens again!)

This is fundamentally a creative process. It is a search for meaning. And it is the search for meaning which overrides the meaning that I thought was there. It is the development of one theme to another.

Bur what's it all about?

The framing and discovering... two ways of being. Does that relate to Heidegger's enframing and dwelling? Does the process of discovery enframe or does it dwell? My thoughts in language certainly send me down a particular road. Technology takes me down there faster! I dwell in meaning; in contemplation; in timelessness. The enframing is always trying to frame meaningfulness. There is no other reason to become enframed. But as the frame is put in place, so the meaning can be lost.

I suspect we only lose the frame completely (or find the meaning) at death. There is no need for framing then. Life itself is the frame.

In sleep, the breathing body is the frame for meaning. Awake, and it is the acting social body+environment that is the frame.

Heidegger thought that artists and poets dwell, whereas the technological life of the rest of us is enframing. What he's really talking about is authenticity. And there are different levels of being. The state of unconditional love towards the world is certainly a state of dwelling; it is a loss of ego, of non-duality. But it cannot exist without duality, dialectic, identity, conflict, etc. These are the frame of meaningfulness.

Lassitude is a strange state. Whilst it manifests itself as 'inaction', and might appear to have more to do with 'dwelling', in fact it is a pathological state of inner turmoil.  Lassitude (and boredom) is when we no longer know what it is we are meant to frame. We no longer know what it's all about. We desperately look for the meaning inside ourselves, but cannot find it. But that's because meaningfulness exists between us, not within us. Crisis is brought about through atomisation and isolation.

All you can do is listen. And wait. And be ready.

That pretty much sums up life in the University sector at the moment!

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